Questionable: Conflict in Romance

Carol wrote:

“It’s the conflict in every scene that throws me for a loop. What about romance? Yes, there needs to be conflict or it’s boring, but if it’s all conflict, I can’t buy them having a HEA. Doesn’t there need to be some parts where they are in accord? What about after the Big Bad Thing has happened? I would think the character needs to react, to process the loss, before he/she can think what to do next, especially if it is a major loss. And if the scene begins when the conflict starts and ends when the conflict stops, when does the reader get a breather?

“I understand the definition of conflict, but … Man, I can’t even come up with a coherent question. How about – How do you use conflict? Especially the more subtle ways.”
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Sharp Soap: Why I’m An Arrow Fangirl

I’ve been on a writing wonk tear recently. I had two books going at once, and both were blocked, so I threw myself into good TV, trying to find a different way into story and ended up with a third book because I’ve become so fascinated by episodic storytelling. I’ve been taking apart everything I’ve been watching, trying to see how it works or doesn’t work, and there are several series I’ve been particularly fascinated by because of the choices their showrunners make, good and bad. I’ve learned a lot from Sherlock, Life on Mars, and Person of Interest among others, but the show that has reawakened my old zest for storytelling is an over-the-top superhero series that I started watching because I was stuck in a rental house and losing my mind. It took me a couple of episodes to notice what the writers were doing on Arrow, but once I wrapped my mind around it, I realized that there was a lot the show could teach me if I was just open to it. If I had to use one word to describe the showrunners and writers behind Arrow, it would be “fearless.” Also, possibly “drunk,” because these people will go anywhere. Continue reading

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Questionable: Surprises in the First Draft

Roben wrote:

My question: If in the middle of writing a contemporary romance a secondary character takes on an entirely different demeanor than you intended, and he becomes larger than life, the tone darkens and switches to what could be romantic suspense, do you toss that character out of your relationship/love story or do you go with it and expand his character and go back and foreshadow?

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Questionable: Multiple POVs

K M Fawcett asked:

I’d love some insight on writing a series of books. Especially POVs in them. I’m on Book 3 now of my sci-fi/ fantasy romance and this is the 3rd couple I’m writing. However, couples from the first 2 books are intertwined in the story as some are related to each other. I want to give them some POV scenes too but not sure if that takes away from the main romance. I’m not sure how to handle writing it. Would that other couple have to be a sub plot that runs through the story? Do I only keep it in this hero/heroine’s POV? I guess the question is how best to handle multiple POVs in a series. Also perhaps how much back story is appropriate to include so that new readers can follow along and old readers don’t get bored. Thanks!

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